JDH Software Technologies
QDT : Policy Statement
Last Update: 01-30-02 jdh
QDT is a desktop styled front-end to QL systems and ties many pieces of software together; both programs and software technologies. In order to do this, support of the QL software community is necessary. This document outlines the different types of support needed and requirements and expectations for externally developed software and technologies included within the QDT package. Only rare exceptions personally approved by the QDT author (James Hunkins) and properly documented will be allowed.
Included Programs and Software Technologies
For details on the individual software and technologies required, included, and/or recommended for use with QPC, please refer to the http://www.jdh-stech.com website or included documentation with the QDT package for current lists. During the development of QDT and likely afterwards, these lists will be under regular revision. There are no plans for other notification of changes.
Listed below are the different software categories that QDT will be involved with and related notes. To be included, software must be compatible or made compatible with QDT. It must offer real value to the desktop experience and be 'relatively bug free' code. In the case of bugs, it is expected that the software owner/author will actively attempt to correct the problem or assist in finding a work around.
A separate agreement form will be made available and will be needed to be completed for all externally developed components included with QPC. This will need to be done before the software can be included in any version of QDT including Beta or other 'test' copies.
Software - Required but NOT Included:
QDT is dependent on certain software to be in place before it can even run. This includes, for example, the operating system SMSQ/E and the Pointer Environment. As these are major pieces that would take up substantial disk space and have a significant cost to them, they are not included with the QDT package. It is assumed that users who may have an interest in a package such as QDT will already own these items or be willing to purchase them separately.
Software - Included:
QDT will include several components written directly for QDT. In addition to the internally developed components, there are several other pieces or shareware and freeware available that are necessary to make QDT a fully functional modern day desktop. Since there are extremely limited resources involved in the QDT development and, to put it simply, QDT will never cover its development costs, the idea is to use existing packages where ever possible.
Some of these externally developed components will have minor costs associated with them which will be included within the QDT pricing. Such components may be things such as menuing systems. In an attempt to hold the costs of QDT to a minimum, an effort is being made to avoid using these 'cost' components where possible.
Many of the externally developed components are available as no cost shareware or freeware. These include components such as FileInfo, archivers, and viewers.
Any such program will only be included in the QPC package by the agreement of the owner/author of the program. The agreement will be to include it at no additional cost. The QPC package will then include it if appropriate and not add a charge for it to the customer. An agreement also needs to be made to continue to support the program as far as bug fixes and/or work-arounds. Where it is not possible to properly integrate the use of the program/component into QPC without modifications of the external component, the owner/author will also need to agree to add the required changes. Major efforts are being made within QPC to minimize and avoid such change requirements where possible.
It is unlikely, due to time constraints, that the QPC author will be able to modify someone else's code to fit 'better' even if permission was granted. In the case where software will not fit into QPC and the owner/author of the software can't make the changes, the software will not be considered for inclusion.
Software - Optional but Recommended (not included):
Since most users have their own favorite programs, options are being made to make it possible to link them into parts of QPC. Some of the more popular ones will be listed as recommendations but not included. In some cases, capabilities such as configuration databases and auto-install pieces will be included with QPC. None of the QPC inclusions will infringe upon the other software's copyrights or ownerships. Of course, as with any software, no claims or warranties as to the compatibility of these pieces nor any liability for potential problems or losses from the use of these will be allowed. Warnings will be given during auto-installs and configuration notebook usages as appropriate.
Software - Other:
As is always the case, QPC can not possibly know about all programs available that people use. Capabilities are being included to allow for manual linking into QPC areas and to use existing program configurations under the Tabbed Config Notebook. Again, no claims as to compatibility or guarantees are made here.
QPC is looking for software authors who have programs or software components that would enhance the desktop experience. Components such as a basic HTML style help system with graphics display capabilities, text capture, scratch pad (graphical and text), drag and drop, would all help and reduce the development time. Also different type of viewers are also needed.
Anyone with such a program who would be willing to distribute it for free use with QDT would be most welcome. Again, certain expectations for program bug maintenance and possible integration assistance would be expected.
Another possibility is that some might want to offer a reduced capability program for the free use in QDT and offer a 'charged upgrade' for QDT owners to the full version. Such a charged upgrade would not be handled by JDH Software Technologies but the associated information could be included.
Due to the limited number of copies expected to sell, at this time only two distributors are planned for. If someone feels that they can distribute into an area that is not normally covered by the primary QL distributors, then they should by all means contact JDH Software Technologies to discuss it.
The initial offering of QDT will be presented only in English. If there is anyone who would like to translate the instructions and help files to other languages and there is an interest for this, they should contact JDH Software Technologies. Also, depending on the interest level and development time, it may be possible to fully translate all sections, including menus at a later date.
A very limited number of Beta testers will be requested. The intent is to pick from a range of types of users and different system configs. A call for Beta testers will be made both on the website and in one of the QL forums at the proper time.
Of course, since QDT will be released in stages and a major part of any desktop is shaped by its users requests, the QDT users will have a major say in desktop design modifications, feature enhancements, bug fixes, and other changes. They will hopefully become the most important contributor to QDT and its future in the QL community.
As most readers probably realize, QDT is taking a tremendous amount of time to implement and will continue to do so. That, along with the fact that the number of copies sold will be limited by the size of the QL community, there really is no money to spread around. The QDT author would be happy to cover his own costs of going to shows, web postings, etc. (and that is probably optimistic).
Therefore, keeping with the QL community attitude, the selling price of QDT will be held down. As a result of that, with the very rare exception of the one or two included components that have a small cost to use, there will unfortunately be no compensation made to any of the contributors to the QDT effort.
Instead, it is hoped that QDT will develop into something very useful and most contributors and users will be able to use it and its components to enhance their desktop computing experience and perhaps their own software. Note that items such as the QDT Tabbed Configuration Notebook and the QDT Installers will be made available for other programs to use ( full documentation will be included to allow customization as needed ).
A Personal Note In Closing
It is hoped that QDT will be useful and will enhance the QL experience for many of the users. QDT is being developed simply due to a love for the QL and its community, not to mention the personal challenge. For all those who have contributed to the QL over the years, and for those of you who can contribute to QDT now, my personal gratitude is extended.
Please keep a watch on the http://www.jdh-stech.com website for updates as progress is made. And if there are any questions or suggestions, please contact me by clicking on either icon:
Most recent revision: 16-Dec-04
Copyright 1999-2006, JDH Software Technologies [James D. Hunkins]